Army Life – Dear Dad – The News Has Come And Gone – November 3, 1942


Alfred (Lad) Guion in California

Nov. 3, 1942

Dear Dad: –

The news has come, and gone, – – – just like that. Here is the way it happened. We were asked to form for “chow” earlier yesterday in order to hear some announcements. They were in connection with the California shipment, of course. I was supposed to leave last night for California, with a very short stop in Trumbull. Then, before we were dismissed, a fellow came running from the Co. C headquarters with an order which stated that the order for Shipment of A. P. Guion was hereby revoked, and it also stated that new orders were to be issued sometime soon. I expect that they might come out before the week is out, but I hope not. It seems that the Army has decided to improve upon my knowledge in general or particular and is sending me to some school. My impression is that it will be either the G. M. Diesel School in Flint, Mich., or the Ford School in Dearborn. But there is nothing official in any of my ideas, so it is really up in the air at present. I was told however, that at the termination of my studies on November 21st or 22nd, I would go directly from the school to California. The departure date is again up in the air.

This new arrangement rather changed some of my plans, and now I don’t know just what to do about the car. The fellows who were to go with me had to find other means of going, and although I felt rather guilty about promising that I would take them and then having to refuse, I really could not do anything about it at all. It was something completely out of hand. Again, I meet up with something within me which says, “Never make a promise”.  (1) There are always so many unpredictable things which can occur during the time that the promise is made and the actual time of carrying it out. I think that if I get a chance to come home this weekend, I shall bring the car along, and then leave it there until something definite comes along and I can really see just what I can do. This uncertainty is sort of getting a little under my skin. I may be easy-going and all that, but I still like to know, in my own mind, just what I am going to do if I get the chance.

If there was more to this letter, I don’t have it. There isn’t even a signature, so it makes me wonder. Your guess is as good as mine.

(1) My Father took this lesson very seriously. I don’t believe he ever made a promise after that. When he was teaching me to drive, I’d ask him before dinner if we could go driving afterward, and he say, “We’ll see.” As we were finishing dinner, I’d ask again, “Can we go driving now?” He  would say, “We’ll wait and see.” He would sit down and read the paper and then he’d ask, “Judy, do you want to go driving now?” I probably replied rather sarcastically, “Of course. I’ve been asking you all evening!” Now I understand something that drove me crazy as a teen.

Tomorrow, more Special Pictures of the Trumbull House – Then and Now. On Sunday, another Guest Post by GPCox about making a car.

Judy Guion


Trumbull – Dear Flesh and Blood (1) – An Apology And A Job Well Done – November 1, 1942


AD Guion Letterhead, business cards and membership cards

AD Guion Letterhead, business cards and membership cards

Trumbull, Conn., Nov. 1, 1942

Dear Flesh and Blood:

One of the first objects of this letter indicted on the first day of November is to offer atonement for having slipped up on what has been an unbroken two-year chain of weekly letters. Last Sunday my typewriter was silent. In the so-called Morning Service of the Episcopal Church, which was so large a part of my youth, there is what is called a General Confession which reads as follows: “We have erred and strayed from the ways like lost sheep; we have done those things which we ought not to have done and have left undone those things which we ought to have done and there is no health in us.” “So let it be with Caesar.”

The reason for this lapse, which the charitably inclined might label “extenuating circumstances”, lies in the fact that Sunday marked the culmination of a week of unceasing effort to turn out with a sadly crippled force of workers, sufficient multi-graph letters to help elect a Republican governor for the great little Commonwealth of Connecticut. Saturday, far into the night, witnessed Dave and his father busily working, Sunday morning Dave and Dick went to the office to add their bit while I stayed home to get a birthday dinner in celebration of my son Daniel’s natal anniversary, after which I immediately left for the office to continue again into the night the work which was to see the final touch in the production of the letter campaign. In the true Guion tradition, we finished the job and next Tuesday will, I hope, witness a favorable result to our efforts. As Lad and Dan were both home on that occasion, they probably did not greatly miss the non-receipt of the weekly letter, so perhaps this apology should point more in the direction of Alaska then southward.

Lad was again home this weekend but Dan, I learned through a letter received by Barbara, that Dan and a surveying crew have been transferred for the next few weeks to temporary headquarters at Spring Grove, Pa., where they have a job to be done. Pretty name, isn’t it? Reminds me of the song-story of the prit-ty little rabbit and the hunter and the three trees, there and there and there.

There is still no definite word as to when Lad leaves for the west, but that he is to leave is pretty well assured in his own mind. He has sought and secured permission to drive his car to the coast, being allowed mileage, and intends to take along with him at least two and possibly more fellow travelers from Aberdeen. To that end he has just bought from Arnold four new tires so that he should have no difficulty on that score in duplicating the adventure of the Willys.

I wish there were some secret potion or amulet or magic word that could induce Ced to make more frequent visits to the typewriter, sort of a letter cathartic. Reminds me of the story of Goldstein who joined the Marines but turned out to be pretty much of a dud as a soldier. Finally he was shipped to the Solomons. Perhaps the name helped some but it wasn’t long before stirring details reached home of his bravery, decorations he had received, etc. They finally asked his captain what caused the transformation. Said the captain, “I gave him a Tommy gun, a couple of revolvers, six hand grenades, a cutlass, a knife, strapped a torpedo on his back, sent him out to the front line and said, “Now Goldstein, you’re in business for yourself”.

Tomorrow, I’ll post the rest of this letter. On Friday, another letter from Lad concerning his plans for California.


Judy Guion

Army Life – Dear Dad – The News Has Come – October 16, 1942


Lad Guion

Blog - 2016.06.28 - Lad's letter to Grandpa - Oct. 16, 1942

Oct. 16, 1942

8:30 P.M.

Dear Dad: –

The news has come – I’m on the tentative list for California. That means that I may leave here sometime during the latter part of this month. However, this information is a military secret (?), so don’t publish the fact too freely. I expect that I’ll be able to get home, if only for a short time, before I leave. I’m making plans as though I were going, with the exception of drastic steps, but even so, in connection with that matter I mentioned last week, I’d like to ask you to wire me, via Western Union, $50. Address to Pvt. A.P. Guion, (ASN-31122058), Co. C, 2nd Bn., O.R.T.C., H.P.G., Aberdeen, Maryland. If you desire – wire collect.

Travel by private conveyance is authorized, by the Army, at three cents per mile for 2833 miles. This will not be paid however until the trip is over, but I think that if I’m successful, I’ll take three fellows plus myself at $30 apiece and that will, or should, completely cover the entire cost of the trip with a few dollars to spare.

In retribution, here is what I can think of to counterbalance what I will leave behind. I’ll see parts of the US which I have never seen, the winter weather may be better, which I will like, and there may be, and probably will be, and advancement in rank. And, another thing, I understand that there would be an O.C.S. out there. And since this will be a new set up – the restrictions will probably be a little lower, so I’ll possibly have a better chance with my voice. Anyway, I’m sort of looking forward to the change.

Well, Dad, I don’t think that I’ll be able to get home before next weekend or after that, but I’ll get home, sometime, before I leave. Remember me to all and my love to Aunt Betty.


Tomorrow through the rest of the week, two more letters from Grandpa to his three props.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Rx – Dear Patients (2) – A Family Round-up -February 27, 1944



OLD DOC GUION HIMSELF: On the basis of the old saying, “Physician, heal thyself”, I suppose this report would not be complete without a word as to the author. At present he is suffering from an extended case of painindeatus caused by too frequently sitting down to read letters from his patients that keep crowding into Box 7 with scarcely a let-up. This, however, is only during the day. He starts the morning right and ends up in a happy frame of mind before retiring by inspecting his bureau on which, side-by-side, stant photographs of his two daughters-in-law — one of them a California gift and the other a Valentine.

Hints to toilers on the homefront. Every so often we have the urge to use the mail facilities Uncle Sam has provided to supplement the weekly letter by some little trinket as a token of our thought of you and naturally the thought pops up, “What shall it be?” And then we try to think back on what has been previously sent and how acceptable it was and the only clue we can recall are the words, “Your package arrived O.K..” Lots of help in that, isn’t there? So you can imagine my delight when letters arrived simultaneously from each of you boys giving me just the answers I wanted. I quote from Lad: “That cloth you sent to shine up my rifle and other hardware with was undoubtedly well intended but in your ignorance you didn’t know that the Army doesn’t allow us to use anything of that sort.” From Dan: “Those playing cards with my initials on them, I am sorry to say, are just cluttering up my pack. In the first place, I don’t get time to play, even solitaire, and in the second place, I wouldn’t play if I had the time. Thanks just the same”. From Dick: “Now what do you suppose a soldier could do with a dinky little round knife and nail file? That might be O.K. down Trumbull way for civilian use, but sorry, Dad, it’s pretty useless here.” Well, boys, that’s fine. Just what I wanted to know, and then when your letter continues with, “but, what I would like to have which I can’t get here is some, etc., etc.,” it just finished off with the right note. Why not make the dream come true? We all learn by experience but experience won’t help if it’s tongue-tied.

A postal from Ced en route written from St. Louis, 6 PM reports a comfortable trip that far. From my timetable he should have reached Texarkana very early Monday morning. However one of those formal Army change of notice cards from Lad dated February 20 informed me his new address was Pomona, and I am waiting to hear again from Ced as to whether or not he made it. It will also be interesting to hear from Ced and Lad and Marian as to their get together after all these years.

Time out  –  the furnace sheared a pin

2 hours later – after much effort the pin has been restored but in the meantime the fire has gone out, so I’ll just rather abruptly bring this missive to a close, get something to eat, light the fire and then I’ll really need a bath, which I shall duly take.

So long then, from


Tomorrow and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

Trumbull – Rx – Dear Patients (1) – A Family Round-up – February 27, 1944

Trumbull, Conn. February 27, 1944


Dear Patients:

Old Doc Guion finds that with his patients so widely scattered he is unable to make regular calls in his old horse and buggy and must perforce issue courses of treatment and prescriptions in bulletin form.

Alfred (Lad) Guion in California

LAD: Symptoms: fever and high blood pressure due to rapid change of climate and flitting from California to Texas and back again in too rapid succession. There is also danger of having chest sticking out too far due to newly contracted disease called T/3 in Army circles, which can be recognized by four stripes on the arm between wrist and elbow.

Basis for above conclusion: telegram dated February 25th from Pomona, Calif., as follows: “Hold everything. New address T/3 APG, PO Box 491, Pomona, Calif. notice new prefix. Now carry four stripes.”

Treatment: Suggest remaining in one place long enough for wife to catch up with him. If usually placid nature becomes ruffled a bit by Army one-man maneuvers, try reading Kipling‘s IF at frequent intervals.

Marian (Irwin) Guion

MARIAN: Symptoms: mental hallucinations of wife in pursuit of husband

Treatment: Make it sort of a game idea, round the world tour, etc., arriving at one port to find the other fellow just left a jump ahead of you. Try reading Evangeline between stops. Take frequent doses of “a sense of humor”.

Daniel (Dan) Beck Guion

DAN: Symptoms: rather severe case of tempus fugit accompanied by partial paralysis of the writing finger.

Treatment: Make note to query Gen. Rogers if good conduct medal additional award can be issued to soldiers who write home more frequently than once a month. Care should be exercised in applying this treatment, being sure not to make doses to strong as up to the present, patient has been quite regular and this may be but a temporary lapse due perhaps to some unavoidable circumstance.

Cedric Duryee Guion

CED: Symptoms: sort of mental germ carrier. This is rather a clear case of contradictory manifestations. Frequently and in numerous places there are strong clusters of regret at his departure surrounded by deep layers of pleasant recollections of many kindnesses and accomplishments of things needing to be done. As one of my daughter-in-law’s expressed it, she never knew anyone so willing to put themselves out to do things for others.

Treatment: Apparently incurable.

DICK: Symptoms: recurring attacks of awayfromhomeitis.

Treatment: His is an extremely difficult malady to treat from a distance of more than a few feet. Soft arms in the vicinity of the collarbone with plentiful applications of lipstick judiciously supplied by the proper party is said to affect wonderful cures promptly. Meantime equestrian sports like polo and horse racing with one’s own mount and occasional letters to old Doc Guion should cause enough mental anguish to take one’s mind off his troubles.

DAVE: Symptoms: a rather acute attack of busyitis, which being quite fresh, hit the patient particularly hard. He is at present resting rather comfortablyon a Beautyrest mattress in private ward 31409102, Co. B, 28th Sig. Trng. Bn., CSCRTC, Camp Crowder, Mo., in charge of a pretty nurse. Apparently has time only to hang up coats as he has requested coat hangers to be rushed to him immediately. Suffers from occasional flights of fancy and thinking his older brother and wife are only 200 miles from his camp whereas a portion at least has returned to California (see first paragraph).

Tomorrow the 2nd half of this letter from Grandpa.

On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Judy Guion

Army Life – The Big Day – Announcements – November, 1943

This appeared in the South Pasadena Review in November, 1943, announcing Marian Irwin’s engagement to Alfred Guion.


Mr. and Mrs. Mowry A. Irwin

announce the marriage of their daughter



Mr. Alfred P. Guion

Army of the United States

on Sunday, the fourteenth of November

Nieteen hundred and forty-three

Berkeley, California


Army Life – Dear Dad (May I?) – Marian’s First Letter to Grandpa – November, 1943

Today, we read Marian’s first letter to Grandpa. She tells him a little bit more about herself and the wedding plans, but her bright and cheerful personality shines through.

Friday –

Dear “Dad” (May I?)

Thank you so much for your thoughtful letter. I really feel as tho’ I do know you, because Al has told me quite a bit about you. Getting really acquainted however, is impossible by letter, so I, too, am looking forward to the time when I can meet you personally and we can compare “facts and figures”. Let’s hope that that time won’t be very far away.

I started this letter last night, but Al came over so I know you’ll understand when I say, “I just couldn’t get it finished! I tried but —-.” Anyway, I’m glad, now, that I waited, for I have the added pleasure of hearing from you, and somehow that makes you just that much closer.

Thank you, too, for having such a wonderful son. I know we agree fully on all the fine qualities he has – I don’t need to tell you how very nice he really is, but, even tho’ you’ve known him longer than I have, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that he’s the one I’ve been waiting for. And may I say a word right here, to Aunt Betty. “Thank you so much for your good wishes. Your opinion of Lad only confirmed what I felt all along. Someday soon, Aunt Betty, we’ll get together and compare notes for I imagine we’ll agree on quite a number of things.”

I don’t know how much Al has told you about me. I haven’t led a very eventful life but I’ve enjoyed every bit of it. I am the oldest of

Marian, Don, Margaret and Homer Irwin

Marian, Don, Margaret and Homer Irwin

four children, two boys and two girls. One brother and my sister are married, and living in or near Berkeley. My youngest brother is in his second year at California (University of) and is living at home. “Home” is Orinda – a glorified country club, at one time, but is now a residential section with about three stores at the main intersection. Dad works for the Westinghouse Electric Supply Company in Oakland. All of his relatives, except his father who is here in California, are from the East, but I believe almost all of them are in Pennsylvania. Most of Mother’s family are here in California, about one hundred miles from where we live. It’s quite a tribe we have, and all of us have been quite close. Cousins have grown up together, Before the war we always went to my Grandmother’s for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Mother’s Day, and we lived close enough so that we could see each other over weekends and other holidays, too. When we all get together there are about 40 or 45 of us, so you can imagine what a time we must have. And we all love it! I know they’re going to take to Lad immediately – as a matter of fact  – who doesn’t ? – And I hope he won’t be too floored by meeting so many “in-laws” the very first thing. Seems to me I’m supposed to introduce them gradually, but they are all so nice, I don’t think they’ll floor him!

I went to Berkeley High School and then across the bay to San Francisco State College. I taught school for five years – loved it but decided I wanted something different – so I am now the Camp Fire Girls Executive in South Pasadena. I love it, and will continue working after we are married – but only until Lad gets out of the Army. Then I’ll stop, with pleasure, and we can concentrate on such things as a family and getting really acquainted and besides- I’ve got to learn how to cook! Oh, I can manage to fry an egg or cook a vegetable, but I want to be able to do a really good job of it. You know, be famous for a special cake or a delicious stew etc.!

Lad probably told you that we were being married on Sunday, November 14th, (U.S. Gov’t permitting!) at Berkeley. The reception will be right afterwards for family and those friends who have the gas to drive out! I will be married in a suit, and we are having a double ring ceremony. I do wish you could be there, but will certainly be thinking of you all day long.

Seems to me I’ve rambled on enough. There are still lots of things I’d like to say, but I can’t put them all in one letter. All write again, very soon, and give you more details.

My very best wishes to you and Aunt Betty. It won’t be very long before we meet each other.

With love,


Tomorrow, another letter from Marian to Grandpa. On Saturday and Sunday, more Special Pictures.

Next week, I’ll be posting letters written in 1945. Dan and Paulette are married but having a hard time seeing each other because Dan travels near and far with his work for the Cemetery Registration Division. Both Lad and Dick are (mostly) home with their wives. Ced is still in Anchorage, Alaska, and Dave in in Manila, The Philippines, counting the months until he can come home. 

Judy Guion